The process of choosing a wide format printer can sometimes be overwhelming. A printer is a significant investment, and you need to be absolutely sure that it will meet your needs today and in the mid-term future.
Before you decide, consider the most important aspects of buying a wide format printer. Here are four considerations that will help you find the perfect model for your needs.
1. Do You Need to Print in Color?
Output typically determines whether you need black & white or color printing. For D-size drawings, especially those that will be used in the field, black & white is often a better solution, thanks to the ability to create water resistant documents. If you produce a mixture of documents, including presentations and architectural drawings, then you will be better served by a printer that can output color as well.
2. Speed and Performance
How often do you use a printer in your business? Do you typically make large print runs, or do you print a handful of documents and D-size drawings infrequently?
If you don’t necessarily need the fastest printer on the market, you could save money by choosing a model that trades speed for affordability. Processing, warmup time, and continuous workflow (processing pending files while printing) should all be considered.
3. How Important is Image Quality?
Clarity and accuracy are both critical in industries like construction and engineering. In Architecture, color elements and high-resolution printing may be required.
Some printers are geared towards vibrant and colorful commercial images. For your needs, it would be better to look for a printer that can accurately recreate fine lines and minor details with absolute clarity, especially when you will be reproducing CAD documents.
4. Upfront and Ongoing Costs
Costs should be considered in terms of the initial investment and the ongoing maintenance and service. Media types will contribute to cost, so be sure to choose a printer that is compatible with the paper stock that is used in your industry.
Inquire about parts availability and service contracts when buying a printer. Some models may appear extremely affordable upfront, but ongoing costs could significantly ramp up over the lifetime of the printer.
Never Compromise on Your Needs
Price is the first thing you see when choosing a new printer, but it’s not the only point to consider. Your daily printing needs should guide your decision. Focus on quality, performance, and output, and remember that ongoing costs will have a direct impact on your bottom line.